Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Escalating Rides

I've been making a point this year of doing more long rides -- each week there needs to be something that is longer or hillier than the week before, with one rest week a month.

Since yesterday was the only full day of school left for Nim this week (just a few hours today and tomorrow for the last couple of finals), it was time for a nice 87 mile ride to the coast, exploring a few roads I don't ride on often.

The highlight was finding an ice cream stand that was actually open along the trail cutting through Seacliff State Beach :)  Good thing too, as I had accidentally eaten my whole sandwich a mere 25 miles into the ride.  (Really, I was just going to have a couple of bites, and then it was mysteriously ALL GONE.)

Friday, May 26, 2017

Busy May

The last couple of weeks have been a bit busy.  Here's a bit of a taste

My mom visited for a couple of days around Mother's Day.  I took her up to the conservatory of flowers in San Francisco,

 and of course we had to go see the Bay and then meander home down the coast.

We dragged everyone out for a hike on Mother's Day and even the kiddo seemed to enjoy herself.

After my mom's visit, it was time for concerts:  Nim's flute ensemble (below) and two things for me for Early Music Singers (not pictured).

Somewhere in there, Nim entered the world of those who have cell phones (we gave her mine and I upgraded), and now she is careening headlong into finals week.  She made a point of telling me that she got to put her phone in the wall of phone storage during her first exam.

Almost summer vacation -- phew.  I just found out earlier this week that Nim got into the 10-day backpacking camp at the end of June that we previously thought she was too far down the wait list for, so her summer will be busier than expected :)

Friday, May 19, 2017

Out and about on the bike -- Together!

This last week, Chad and I got out for not one, but two rides together.  Most unusual, given that I usually ride during the week and he rides on the weekend. (that whole divide and conquer thing that parents have to do...)

No pictures from the first ride, but suffice it to say it was a 50+ mile ride up and around the ridge above the South Bay.

Gorgeous weather, entertaining people (it was organized by the folks who did our bike tour in France a few years back, and they still remember a much younger Nim dancing in front of the castle!),  and a nice route with views out to the ocean.  I'm reminded that we need to do another European tour with them one of these years...

A couple of days later, the Tour of California had a local stage finish, and Chad was lucky enough to be able to take the day off to ride and spectate with me.  We drove down to South San Jose, and took the scenic route down to Morgan Hill, around the reservoir, and back up steep Metcalf Road to the finish line area to spectate.

I wasn't sure how many people would be at the finish area and wanted to get a good spot to watch from, so we carried a picnic lunch up in handlebar bags and went up early.  After doing a loop around the reservoir in the wind and climbing up Metcalf (steep!!), we were definitely ready for our sandwiches, cherries, and sparkling wine.
(Isn't the small can of sparkling Trader Joe's wine cute?)

In retrospect, we could have just gotten a burrito at the taco truck up there, but the moral victory goes to those who are self-sufficient :)  We did concede principle enough to treat ourselves to iced coffees from the Peet's truck, however, and then went to find a warm sunny spot from which to spectate.

I've watched a stage finish here before, so knew to climb up the hill to a point where you can be out of the crowd, look down on the finish line, and still be able to see the big screen on which they show the race footage as it happens so you have something to watch while you wait/nap in the sunshine.  It is always distinctly odd to watch pro racers ride roads with which you are familiar -- "That looks like the back of Hamilton, but they are going way too fast to be climbing, right???"  The pros ride up these hills two to three times faster than I do.

There were a few other jolly folks who also watched from our perch on the hill,

including a bona fide cowboy

and a healthy-looking coyote.

No, please don't eat our bikes...

You can always tell when the racers are approaching because the helicopters start swirling above.

Zoom!  The riders zip by, and all the team cars get to the top, bristling with expensive bikes.

We noticed while watching the the podium ceremony that the coverage was lagging reality by a few seconds.  It's sort of funny to have the big screen right next to the actual happenings, but does help people see.

After the festivities ended, we picked our way down to the road and rode back down.  The endeavor was made more entertaining by the fact that shortly after we started down, all the racers came zipping down from behind us on their way back to the team buses parked at the bottom.  Even in relaxed race-is-over mode, they descend unbelievably fast.  Very entertaining to try to identify people by their jerseys and race numbers.  
(I just tried to maintain a predictable line and stay out of the way over to the right while they all passed going jaw-droppingly fast.)

After we got home, Chad looked at the footage of the race online and and was amused to note that you can see us in our green and red jackets behind the results (between the flags and times in the chart.)  All in all, a fine afternoon!